Louis Zona breathed a sigh of relief a couple of months ago when Snap the Whip safely returned to the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown.
The Butler was the first museum built solely for works by American artists, and for decades, Butler family members augmented its collection with masterpieces such as Albert Bierstadt’s The Oregon Trail and Edward Hopper’s Pennsylvania Coal Town. After Joseph G. Butler III died in 1981, Zona was appointed director. At the time, he chaired Youngstown State University’s art department, but his association with the museum began in the early 1970s. “My dissertation was about museum operations, and I used the Butler for my lab,” says Zona.